Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Epetition at Downing Street website against Subcultural Hate Crime

This epetition was set up about ten days ago.

“Widen the definition of 'Hate Crime', to include crimes committed against a person or persons, on the basis of their appearance or subcultural interests” Ade Varney
Set up on September the 28th.

Note that petitions held at this site always generate an official response from the Prime Minister’s office when complete. You have to be a British citizen to sign the petition. Please use your real name as this a grave issue and the more real signatures attached to this the more seriously the issue is likely to be considered. The petition currently has 1036 signatures making it the 199th most popular petition on the site out of 8261 live petitions. The Liberal democrat MP for Colchester Bob Russell has already said he will approach the Home Secretary to discuss the issues raised by the attack and the petition.

There has been much online discussion about whether attaching the name hate crime to these type of assaults is in fact valid. Whether or not you agree with the idea of the petition, and of hate crimes in general it should be recognised that this petition does represent a chance to get the government to actually consider the problem of physical attacks on people from alternative subcultures and it can be used to generate media and police interest in the problem. If all that means in practice is that one goth, punk, emo kid or metaler somewhere in the UK gets a more sympathetic hearing from the police next time he/she has been attacked, I think it would be worth a few moments of anyone’s time. I myself changed my mind on the question.

[see the later Hate Crime and Subcultures - the debate post.]

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